ATV’s and the Black Sea

A landscape like nothing else. Almost like a crater with spikes of earth sticking up from the bottom, the Turkish, many years ago, dug their communities in and around the rock, creating cave homes, shops and churches. Now mainly a tourism and wine region, the small town of Goreme has become a popular escape into a past world and almighty landscape.

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Within the town of Goreme is not a lot, however the reason to travel to the centre of Turkey isn’t the town but the adventures around it. You are able to go horseback riding, ATV tours, local sight tours, cycling, hiking and most famously, a morning hot air balloon ride above the magnificent land being greeted by the beautiful sunrise. Unfortunately my backpacker’s budget wasn’t overly happy with the €135 expense. Although spending a bit less I rented out an ATV for a day to explore the countryside, taking a local dirt road through the farm land, coming out at some highway. It was absolutely stunning to ride through the local landscape and some tracks into the surrounding parks, what is actually also really weird (especially coming for Australia) is that they were road legal and registered, number plates and everything; strangest for the fact that they are really not the safest things on bitumen.

In Goreme I also met some new travellers, caught up with one I had met at Gallipoli, and I had my first Turkish bath. It really shouldn’t be called a ‘bath’ though, a ‘beating’ is more accurate.
But even though I felt slightly in more pain when I left, after a day more shoulder and back pain had gone, so I guess getting the tension squeezed out of me was worth it… The worst was when the guy pressed really hard in the palm of my hand… that really hurt!
Where you actually go to get the massage is quite cool (style not temperature). It was under ground in this cave like place.
Anyway, at least I can say I have had one.

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One of the items that was on my bucket list was to see the Black Sea (I know, exciting). So my next stop was Samsun, which is simply a seaside and port city that has little to no tourist attractions. But it was still super interesting to see both the Black Sea, and a more local and conservative side to the Turkish people.
However, going to places like Samsun, unfortunately, also poses some backpacker problems. Firstly, it is hotels only which is nice to get a private room for a break, but still more expensive. And then there is the fact that it is almost impossible to meet other travellers and then spend longer than the usual two or three nights in one town. This has probably been one of the downsides to the path I taken with my travels, as I am yet to have travelled extensively together with someone else. Fortunately, I am meeting up with a friend back in Istanbul, where we will spend about 2 weeks together; it should be a nice change.

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